There are some All-Stars using the drop-shot technique on Lake Muskegon today. And all of them fully understand the Michigan Department of Natural Resources regulation that requires a 3-inch leader off the main line to the hook on a drop-shot rig.
A MDNR conservation officer was part of Tuesday evening's pre-tournament anglers meeting to clarify any questions. In many other states, there isn't a similar regulation. You can simply tie the hook to your main line and add a weight to the tag end of the line below the hook. But here, where trout and salmon fishing are popular, it was important to differentiate a fishing rig that might be used for illegal snagging of those species from one used legally for bass fishing - hence the minimum 3-inch leader off the main line.
The drop-shotting issue has been much discussed around the Great Lakes area for years, and all the Elite Series All-Stars are fully aware of what is legal here.